You may also have learned that treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. You, as I have, admire and support St. Jude's work to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%, and know they won't stop until no child dies from cancer. You may have even learned that St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.
Today, however, I want to share a more personal look at St. Jude. In the past I have posted the experiences of the marathon, meeting survivors and their families, detailing the hard work and commitment of the patients, doctors, researchers, volunteers and even my own running team Heart & Sole. Today my thoughts are on those that I will run for. Those that live only in our hearts now. Those that fought bravely but did not come out victorious against this ugly disease.
The what if's.
What if we could have had a St. Jude years ago that was years ahead? What if we had a cure? What if we had a proven prevention? What if we had all the answers and could prevent anyone from losing that battle? What if we had those extra moments? What if we could make a difference?
Just a couple years ago I had the privilege of meeting Diane. My mother and Diane were close friends growing up. I was now privy to all the "stories" of what these ladies experienced in days past. Although Diane barely knew me, she greeted me as family and welcomed conversation and hugs, always full of life and laughter. She was a generous supporter of St. Jude. It was through that support I had learned that she had been touched personally by cancer through the loss of her own daughter at a very young age. Two months ago Diane lost her own battle with cancer. Cancer does not discriminate. Cancer takes young and old. Cancer doesn't care if it has already taken from you, cancer has a voracious appetite. Cancer is vicious and gluttonous.
This year I am running for Diane.
I am running for Russell.
I am running for my father.
I am running for everyone we lost.
I am running for all the lives we can save.
I am a Hero because it is the right thing to do. I am a Hero because it makes a difference. I am a Hero because I don't want to keep adding names to the list.
What if you had an opportunity to save a life?
Donate today. Even when the race is over, the fight to end childhood cancer continues. The fight to save lives goes on.